A good bit of it has to do with the fact that I’m completely on my own now really for any rides. Every time I ask Jo if she wants to do a ride, be it around town or a sponsored ride, it’s not worked out. Really quite a bummer.
However one of my father’s co-workers, who happens to be close to my own age, has taken up biking. And so she was kind enough to invite me to a ride earlier this summer and then to a second ride which was this weekend.
It was a metric century. So 100KM, or 62 miles. When I signed up for the ride I figured that I had plenty of time to go riding more and get back in shape. This never really happened. A week before the ride I was fairly desperate and pushed myself on two good rides totaling 50 miles. And then I started to feel more and more off. By Thursday I was downright sick. Go figure. Luckily really only hit me that one day and so despite large quantities of gunk in my head and trepidation about my ability to survive the course, I went anyways.
This ride is not a fundraising one in that I had to ask people for money, yay, but it is a fundraiser for the group because they get so many riders. It was rather crazy. Like traffic jam off of the highway to get to the event. That and I got up at like 5am to make it in time. And then waited for my riding buddies to show up.
We left the start at about 8:30. The weather was nice but promised to get hot. Which it did. It was ridiculously hot by the end. And the route is such that there’s barely any shade. It wasn’t particularly bad when we were moving. But when you stopped at a rest stop you felt completely encased in heat and could just feel the sweat building.
This was not so good for me with my complexion. I think because I pretty much never go outside during the day and especially not for long periods of time I half forgot how evil the sun is. Although I did have a little travel size one with me that I put some on my nose and back of neck and such at some rest stops. But I think the sun is just too evil because my nose is still a bit red. Then I also got burn in a few places where I either missed or didn't reapply enough like the side of my neck, thin bands on either side of my watch, and bands just below the shorts line. If I tanned I would most certainly have a distinct bike tan. Very annoying.
Stand out moments from the ride for me include: Sometime around mile 6 I think I must have zoned out going down a hill. But I was doing probably 20+ miles and I went off the road…oops. Somehow I managed to just continue down the hill on the field/rocks for probably 100 yards or so and then regained the hill. Whoa.
Also it is notable that I was mildly sick. Got some kind of a cold or allergies or something. It was at it's worst on Thursday when I actually left work early and slept. But I was blowing my nose through the ride. Maybe that's why my nose still burnt. And anyways I had just blown my nose (while riding, no easy feat) when I was informed that bee had flown into my pocket. This was a bit disconcerting because I didn’t want to be stung through my shirt (is that even possible). So after a bit of jiggling around I was informed that the bee was out of the pocket and then it proceeded to crawl around my back up near my shoulder then under my arm etc. And all of this narrated by my fellow bikers being as I have no way while riding of turning and seeing my own back. It was amusing.
It was 62 miles and I came in strong. I felt like I could have done more. And yet it's rather odd because I do still in my mind think it was a good ride, and yet when I think about it all of these painful things come to mind...ah well.
“He, in his developed manhood, stood, a little sunburnt by the glare of life.”